tv U.S. Senate CSPAN August 22, 2013 5:00pm-7:31pm EDT
> what people need. [applause] >> as we saw earlier about the fi [, all three tel that networks televised live from the steps of the lincoln mortorial o that people all over the country could view the march. when i got home they did it all over again. people came from all over the country. they went back to those communities with an insxtred message which helped to bring about change. president kennedy am. march welcome the march leaders late that afternoon and he greeted them saying i have a and eam. >> thank you. at this time we're going to open the floriork questions. if you wait a second come of it to the center of the room here.
.. i don't remember your name. tell us about not having discussions about things we have discussions about. we have discussions about race and we don't have discussions about race. i want to hear from you what you suggest we do in order have the discussion we should be having instead of talking about the
discussions we should really be having. [inaudible conversations] >> how do we have a discussion about race? well, in the united states, it's going to -- it's virtually impossible unless you do it in small groups. you cannot have a discussion about something that you feel very strongly about if you don't know the other person, and one of the things that i found interesting in my life has been the following that i have lived virtually in two world. it takes a long time before people really get around to asking you the questions they really want to ask. and so with my white friends, it usually -- well, this is how the conversation goes. first, i'm asked to become part of a group.
i always say be careful what you ask for. if you ask my opinion, you're going get it. so they had to get used to that. the fact that i'm going to literally tell them what i think. if you're around women, the first thing is always about men. so the white women talk about the black guys who make a pass at them, then i talk about the white guys who come to black communities on the weekend to be with black women. then they turn beet red and they get upset, and we talk about that and we finally -- then it turns out we end up talking about men being no good. [laughter] so how do you have it? i don't think there's a one size that fits all. i think it has to start with individual relationships, and i think it has to start with people being honest.
and by the way, if we're going talk about race, it's not just about whites and blacks and latinos, it also has to do within communities. because in my instance, what i had to deal with was color. my mother is very fair, my father is very dark, and i had to grow up and listen to the conversations within race about color. and within race about race. so this is something that is very complex. it is very painful. and it means dealing with some things that a lot of us don't want to deal with, such as who were our ancestors? the white one and the black ones. then everybody claims to be part indian. we must have had more indians in north america thant world allowed. everyone claimed they have indian anest i --
an excess try. the reality is these are conversations that people do not want to have. ultimately they come down intimate behavior. no one wants to talk about sex and what happens with sex. nobody wants to talk about lust. nobody wants to talk about desire. we'll see the movies, but we don't want to talk about it. and if we cannot have those basic conversations about the most basic part of who we are as people, how can we talk about these other issues? so for me over my lifetime i have -- i have developed long lasting friendship with a bunch of people. and they have dealt with my
flaw, mercifully, i have dealt with theirs. but we have talked honestly. we have gotten to a stage where we could talk honestly about things we really wanted to know. that is the only suggestion i have. >> i would say very quickly we can -- i think we cannot have a serious discussion about race until the black community in this country -- we are involved in psychology warfare. we don't realize that. people ask me what was it about attracted me to brother malcom. the thing that attracted me. i had never heard anyone growing up in segregated tuskegee and going two separate movie theaters from sitting there from 10:00 and 3:00 and cheer for a european man as he and his chimp
beat up fifty or sixty african yours. -- warriors. i think before we can talk to other people, we have to deal with this psychology thing that is still -- , i mean, you hear too many black people say somebody has good hair when the hair is straight or she's dark but pretty. these kinds of things are still there. we have to have some kind of internal recognition of psychology. the physical manifestation of white supreme sup and because of thelet be real because of the international situation. i have been again, maybe i'm being cynical. i happen to believe had there was not a cold war going on the federal government would have allowed the states to crush the civil rights movement.
but for national reasons they had to do something. they did it grudgely. eisenhower moved to little rock when somebody brought him the front page and what was going on. it was the international thing. but i really truly believe that we need some kind of internal thing within the black community and really begin to deal with how we can combat the movies, television, books, songs, all of those things which are used against us from a psychology perspective. and people tell me that i'm being too picky. you know, go to the movie and enjoy the movie. i can't do that. movies are giving out messages. you have to know what the message is. i think that interracial -- i think that both groups have to deal interracially within -- i'm sorry, ib intraracially and
then go out have some kind of real meeting. intraracially. that's what -- i remember that brother malcom said when he met the young white girl. he would have told her you go to your community and work with people who think like you and get them organized, and then we'll work in our community and may be able to have some serious discussion. the whole kind of thing is not going do it. that's basically the way racial things that discuss in the united states in 2013. >> i would say we had the trayvon martin killing in florida, which was clearly a case of racial profiling.
also in 1963, there used to be a law in the book called "arrest report investigation" people could simply be arrested to be investigated without any legal justification. and because, you know, who was targeted? [laughter] >> since you mentioned, trayvon, i'll give you the poem i think kelly was talking about. it's called "for trayvon martin ." it's simply em et till, still. i think it's not too surprising that obama has not brought this whole thing up. it would be difficult enough in normal times, and our times have gotten way abnormal since the tea party has come on the scene. i have little faith that america will come back together. i think we're headed more in the direction of middle east
countries with factions at each other's throat. i'm sorry to say, but i don't see where we're going go. i don't know whether having white become a minority by the middle of the century as other populations are growing will help at all. but i'm sorry, i have seen other countries where populations were not friendly with each other. i can't believe how quickly we have gone from a real functioning democracy to the state we're in now. >> thank you. >> next question. please keep your questions brief. you can make comments, but keep those brief as well. >> thank you very much for this forum. i appreciate it. my question is in reference to the comment dr. bailey in the recent discussions that some of the talks and inspirations min
-- could have, should have, and maybe right now that you could just -- [inaudible] leave here today with me having something that i can go and do. >> okay. i'm going to quickly a statement from dr. king that he made in this book. by the way, how many people are aware of the book. [inaudible conversations] i'm sorry. where do we go from here? "where do we go from here: chaos in the community ." you cannot tell me you know anything about dr. king unless you have read the book. it was published a year before he was assassinated. it is not "i have a dream" martin luther king that being taught to young people is not
the martin luther king that wrote this book in the first person, it's written in the first-person in 1960. it was published in 1967. it's an absolute must-read for anybody who want to know where dr. king's head was at the time of his assassination and may give you clues as to why behind his assassination. very quickly, young lady. he says here, it's from this book. black power is also a call for pooling of black financial resources to achieve economic security. while the ultimate asset to the know grow economic will be found in a massive federal program for the poor along the lines of raldolf freedom budget. a kind of disadvantage something that the negro himself can do to show off the shackle of poverty. the n erk gro is still at the
bottom of the economic ladder. it's up with the $30 billion now $600 billion. it gives him a considerable buying power that can make the difference between profit and loss and many businesses. for the pooling of such resource and the development of habit and technique of wise investment. the negro willing doing his share. a black power means the development of this kind within the negro community. it's the basic -- it's a quest for basic necessary, legitimate power. now does that sound like "i have a dream"? that's the collective use of economics. i personally one of those people who -- [inaudible] i don't care who is elected to with what.
focus on culture and economic. stop believing that everything is going happen by voting somebody to office. it about happening. that's what dr. king saying here. the collective use. many of the businesses -- we go begging the theme of the black postal workers is united we stand divided we beg. we pay attention to that. we don't have to beg somebody to hire black people. you find out how much of that profit margin comes from black community. you sit down and say you get 25% of the profit margin. we want -- that's how you deal in 2013. chanting and picketing and rah, rah and, you know, no justice no peace and all of those kinds of things that's passe. you have to get down and sit down and figure out how to
effectively use $600 billion. that's what i -- that's what i think is a concrete thing. i wish dr. king had shade that statement he wrote in the book. i wish he said this statement at the march on washington. [inaudible] you should begin to tell people that if we want to bring about change as let's say in our -- let's say that the business in our community. our business we support. and you believe that business is not sufficiently providing jobs or anything else to the community. you sit down and say we have done some checking and find out that business gets 50% of the profits from us.
we are going let them know that. we withdraw our business. see that -- if we start doing that kind of thing. that is more powerful than -- you cannot have political power without economic power. you can have some degree of political influence. you cannot have economic power -- you automatically have political power. we need to understand that. it's something that the -- , i mean, they are saying that. you know, dr. king and the other things in this book where he focuses and talks about economics. see, people don't even think of dr. king when they talk about economics. he talks about economics in the use of economics in this book. and people who say follow him they should start pay attention to some of the positions hey
advocating i go from here: chaos or community ." >> distressed to have seen the term affirmative action being fought off by the right-wing, and it was very much action anyway -- back in the precivil war days, the american foreign exchange came mostly from selling cotton to england. 90% of the foreign exchange the factory built from the north came from that money. not just the plantation house we visit now. there was no 40 acres and a mule. there was no other affirmative action. there was jim crow. after '64, '65 civil rights act, there was no affirmative action. i mean, at least with all of this student debt piling up. we ought to be able to support
black students through college to make up for the first 300 or 400 years they spent working here. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> i would say i'm a bit more optimistic about american society. we should not forget that president obama, an african-american, was the first democrat other than fdr elected and re-elected with the majority of the vote. >> my question is how -- did you feel as you were taking part in the biggest event in history? >> thank you. [laughter] >> privileged. >> i would agree. i would say the same thing. it was a privilege to
participate. >> it was something important, you felt as though you were participating in something important even if you were emotionally not a part of it, but you still felt -- you knew it was something -- historically important. >> i recognize a major historical event that i was participating in that day. >> thank you. next question? >> you were saying earlier we had an economic warfare. >> i said psychology warfare. >> yeah. well within i noticed that a lot of the youths today are hooked up in to the buy in the different gadgets and things. we not thinking. the biggest computer you have in the world is right here. you buy all the gadgets and
everything. we're not communicating. we have earphone. we have telephones, we have computers, and you get your best thought from like we are doing right now. communicating. that's all i wanted to say. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hi. how is everybody? i would like to thank you for sharing your wealth and experience today. you are doing a tremendous job of moderating the panel. >> thank you. [applause] >> i have a question. i guess i have a question. i'm with you, dr. bailey, about the "we have overcome" type thing. fifty years later, have we overcome, in your opinion, and who are we not quite sure who we are and if we are -- and another one come fifty years later.
we get to go in the same restroom and eat at the lunch counter. i think it was a misconception in dr. king that the platform was about integration. i want to know do you think integration has worked for the african-american community? and i think one of the issues we talk about why we can't talk about race because it's taboo and as an african-american man you say i need support my african-american businesses and not spend so much in other communities now i've become racist. as an african-american man i don't see how i can become racist when i talk about supporting my own people. do you think integration has worked. and piggyback what you said $600 billion. they came out with a survey in 2013, the african-american spending power will be $1.1 trillion. where is all the money going? >> i'm just saying, you know, i
don't really want to get -- i don't think it's necessary to get any discussion about integration. all i'm saying is this that a group of people who spent $600 billion a year should not be begging or pleading to anyone if they use that $600 billion effectively. and i believe that the focus of our community today and the focus of leaders in our community should be telling people how to use that $600 billion effectively toed advance and promote our, cultural, and political interest in this society. that's all. [inaudible conversations] >> brother, the black churches give you, like, a small example of what can be done.
i spoke to an economic club at hampton university, and i told them, i said you want to get an idea. get a small idea how things can be done. look at the black church has been in existence for 150, 200 years. somebody in that church knew economic and business. they didn't get there by praying. you know, somebody knew economic and business. [laughter] that's why that church survived 150 to 200 years. they do it by what? collectively using their resources. and i'm saying we need expand that at the larger lifl -- level and become aware. it doesn't mean, you know, you use -- you have a nuclear weapon, you know, use it. economically. [inaudible conversations]
and raising questions that project us toward the future. i would like that make a comment about several things you mentioned where you talk about the collective use of resources prior to us pursuing dream of black businesses, the insurance companies in particular that supported home ownership invested money to the -- i group in segregated community where booker t. washington is sitting on the step tsh this is before i was born. i'm not quite that old. -- [inaudible] insurance company went out of business. now, i don't want to preach.
i've already done that. your point about our psychology and the gentleman last night talked about misinformation. with you went to a segregated black school and you mention the churches. the churches taught on sunday you couldn't to school. you had a segregated system black folk weren't allowed to school nine months a year. you had community, agencies, and organizations that provided the necessary reinforcement. one of the smallest black segregated community, we often talk about the list of black ph.d. that came out of that community. we had to go to teach at the black policy. so the misinformation that the young people have been given, i had a young man tell me black people ever owned nothing. why should she get he an education? so you hustle the street. they them risk and give them
everything except pride and -- [inaudible] give us some specific. why do we go? i h asked the question last night. i see cocktail parties, reception clubs, and commemorate [inaudible] somehow there's a disconnect. if you -- tell us when you can come back. we are here. because we have done things in the past that we have given away in the future because that piece of a rock that would suck you down. [applause] >> if i can interject.
i want to thank you for coming to our program. the public library, everything is free. support your public library. that's one thing you can do. thank you. anyone else? >> i was going to say quickly. i'm not going get to -- that's another discussion. but i will say this. if you believe as brown v board that did all black schools are inherently infour your, it doesn't take steps to say all-black colleges, all-black businesses, all-black fraternity is inherently -- we need to take another look at it psychologically. >> sunday evening i went to see the new film lee danielle "the
butler." the firm parallelled the civil rights' movement. late in the film, there is photographs of the demonstration against the embassy of south africa and against apartheid and the release of nelson mandela. it reminded me that i participated in that. >> i don't think the south africa movement would have been anything successful as it was without the march and the aftermath of the march and the kennedy/johnson civil right fact came out of that pressure. >> thank you. we have two more question. if you have -- i'll take one more after that if someone would like to get in line now. you will be the last question.
>> thank you for being here. i want to ask the question. the privilege -- and the same people all along. [inaudible] i don't understand the economic -- [inaudible] what do you mean by that? who is running? >> well, i can -- let me give you very briefly -- yeah. what we -- what capitalism allows people do is to have their money grow geometticly. in other words, your money can
people are confusing money with wealth and income with pelt wealth. struggle over the recent century for african-americans has been how to have an income that is equal to that of whites. so what have we seen? well, if you are a college-educate african-american female. you are 95% as likely to have the same income as a college college-educate white female. when it comes to male, that's completely different. we know the income for african-american males who are college educate approximate mates just about the income of a white male who is a high school graduate. that has been true for the past forty years. >> that's not what i said. i said that's the way income work. when you talk about economics, you have to know what are you talking about? are you talking about big money,
talking about money. and most people go not understand the difference between big money and money. big money means you don't work, you live off the interest that your money is accruing for you. most of us are not in that position. so what we're talking about now who controls the economy. big money in which the third and fourth generation meaning the grandchildren and great grandchildren do not have to work because they are living off the interest from the principle. that's what we're dealing with right now in the united states. and the only way that i know of that can change that is do what was done during the roosevelt administration. you have to change the whole way
the tax system works in which people who are living off their interest and only pay 15%, get a pass while the rest of us are paying 30 to 35%. you have to change that -- in other words, you have to people with big money have to give up something so those at the bottom get a fair share. that takes political will and effort that must be sustained for at least twenty years to get done. that's the reality. my friend laid out thing for you. let me tell you what we're talking about is we're talking about sustained per sis end effort over a generation. it's not willie nilly. you have to be ready, you have
to study, and you have to realize that anybody who has anything is not going give it up without a struggle. what is it you have to do? you don't have to anything huge. you start with your own family. with your own kids. then with the people in your networking. somebody has to be the leader and the monitor. somebody has document it so we're accountable to each other. we have to talk about consistently and continuously what are we going to do? what is our goal and how do we get there? that is what our grandparent and great grandparents did. the reality is the march on washington would not have happened if it were not for the men and women who fought in world war ii. that's what the march on washington -- those people, your father, your
grandfather, who are scattered all over the world and, by the way, educate other people. african-americans soldiers, educate mall knee -- people saw people who look like them. people of color who looked just like them. they got respect from them so we come from a tradition and heritage that many of us have forgotten. we regrained that tradition. we regain that heritage. we make our eyes clear. we focus on the prize, and we can do whatever we want to do. [applause] >> celery, could i say one thing about that. >> sure. >> the huge money that has been going in to politics, the own
are of public inside and a few months -- two year ago there was a case in supreme court called citizen united, that said it was all right for people to give as much money they wanted if they could figure out with the lawyer how they wanted to do. there was a group called move to amend that was putting together a two-pronged program. one, money is not speech. you cannot throw money and people need to have the voice. the other is that -- oh, elections cannot be funded in this manner. so we have to change the system. hopefully in less than twenty years. we have to work figgously again the effort to prevent people from voting which is
particularly in north carolina. targeting african-americans, hispanic. devicing people from voting. and now virginia. you pretty much answer the question. a large scale degree. where do we go from here? with the incarceration rate of young brother on the street. you want your daughter to meet a nice man. , you know, a lot of brothers are getting a lot of trouble through different thing. i know, erick holder is trying to get sentencing equality pretty much. but also gas is $4 a gallon. milk is $4 gallon. gas is whatever -- and you can't even get in an
apartment, a cheaper apartment for less than $12 00 a month. that's putting the whole group back in poverty pretty much. where do we go from here? how do we get our leaders focus on what we need in america to make it better for all of us. >> do you live in d.c.? >> i live in d.c. with no vote. no congress vote. >> i'm sorry. that wasn't going to be my next question. do you vote in the local election? >> i vote in all the election. i have my voter registration card and that. >> all right. all right. >> where do we go from here? how do we bring back america to the people? that's what i want to know. i will say whey said previously. for no reason as far as i'm concerned where every black community in this country cannot have a house, a place in that community where young black people can go and have
recreation and learning at the same time. not run. that requires using collective economic. if there's a building in the community that is empty. nobody is using it. the community can get together for the money, fix the building up, and teens hang out. always have and always with. the community must provide a place where they can hang out. are they going hang out in places that are not so cool. that's what i'm talking about. we have sufficient we should always fight for our share of government monieses. you pay taxes and the whole idea i'm not talking about giving up -- to get government money. any government money the government has coming out. since we pay taxes. i believe we pay more innings it is a collectively as a people than we get back. we shouldn't in any way give up
government monies. but i'm saying that we, if dr. king says here, in that quote, there's no reason why black -- especially in urban community cannot have a building purchased by the community collectively and provide a place for young people to go and hang out and learn. we have to get that mentality, you know, and, you know, and that requires a change in mind. brother malcom used to say and again, in this book, dr. king talks about psychology. the psychology manifestation of a white supreme sincerity. you don't hear it very much. but he taunt the tax on the mind. this is what we're dealing with now. as i said the physical attack
have been significantly reduced. even with the trayvon martin case. the physical attack have been reduced. the psychology attack from the movyings with television, book, music, a lot produced by black people. as far as i'm concerned the gangster rappers have been allies, allyies, witty, conscious, allies of people out to harm psychologically our young people. i don't care. if they don't produce the stuff it doesn't go no whether. >> the -- [inaudible conversations] they create the material. when i was a journalist i used
to be with ebony magazine. you have to make choices. the south african government would have paid me $30,000 to write articles, crazy and defending south africa. now i could say, hey, you know, i'm taking that money. but i didn't. not because i'm a saint. because i had been learned from people like brother malcom and the sacrifice of dr. king. you have to make choices. black people who prepare to perform the gangster rappers are people -- who have made a coach decision to make money at the company of young black people. the question dan with the word leadership. i would like to point out when
good leadership e nernlgs and i take for example, cynthia mckinney who was the most outspoken maybe on most social issues of anyone in congress. they will target you. i'm so far amazed that a few people have stayed in their seats because the right-wing money is really after anyone who stands. >> i think people need maintain their sent of optimism, and you can achieve change, positive, constructive change. i have seen so much change in the 52 years i've lived in washington. it's been simply beyond -- change there has been astonishing. >> i would think to thank my -- [inaudible]
relate to the in the event syria. he has spoke within the president with u.n. secretary. french foreign minister, turkish foreign minister and e.u. high represent during all the call he reintegrated the u.s. commitment to focus to getting to the bottom of the fact on the ground. our concern about the reports, the photograph, the video we have certainly seen out there. this is also part of our effort as an administration to discuss what other countries are hearing so that the secretary can bring it back to the national security team and discuss with them in the meetings that are ongoing. i want to provide a little bit more detail of his conversation with the president. he expressed our condolences to the syrian people. thes loss of life those who have also been injured or suffering from yesterday's attack.
he reintegrated the united states commitment to looking in to what is happened on the ground. ambassador ford, i want to add, finally encountered all opposition groups to work with the u.n. in their investigation. we have encouraged and continue to encourage access and that the syrian regime grant access. one other piece some were asked about the contact. he spoke with coalition president and he will visit instay bull on sunday to continue the dialogue with the fcc leadership. with that, go ahead, deb. >> national intervention, turkey's foreign minister said, you know, several lines have been crossed. we have mccain saying without u.s. response instead of a red line looking at the green light here because we have seen them
use chemical weapons in the past. are we at least reaching a tipping point with syria here? >> let me be crystal clear here. people around the world, people living in countries around the have seen and woken up this morning, have seen yesterday photographs and videos that many of us have seen that shocked the consciousness. as anyone would say beyond the peal. the president directed the intel community in the united states to urgently gather additional information. that's our focus on this end. at this time, right now, we're unable to conclusively determine cwu. we are focused every minute of every day since the events happened yesterday on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts. also, as part of the efforts, the secretary -- i mentioned a number of his call. but part of that is working with coordinating with, cooperating with, his counter parts around
the world and having the discussion he spoke with foreign minister this morning. he has spoke within a number of officials and those calls will continue. but we are doing everything possible to use our resources, which includes coordinating and cooperating with our counter part around the world to get to the bottom of the fact on the ground. >> if they determine that, you know, i don't a reasonable doubt it was them using the chemical weapon. is it another right lane? >> the right lane has been clear. i know there's confusion about this. the right lane is the use of crrks w. the use of chemical weapons. that was crossed a couple of months ago. the president took action. which we talked about at the time. well as i mentioned we're still focused on nailing the down the fact. the intel community is focused on that. the administration is focused on that. if it was true it would be an outrageous use of chemical weapon by the regime.
so our focus is nailing down the fact. the president, of course, has a raping of options. that we have talked about before that he can certainly consider. and of course discuss with his national security team. all this week we're bringing you encor presentation of q & a. tonight our discussion with historian and former nixon presidential library director. that begins at 7:00 eastern. at 8:00 booktv. tonight on c-span starting at 7:30 eastern we open up the gone
line to get your thought on the value of student education. we take your comment and facebook messages. president obama unveiled the plan for making college for affordable. speaking to students at the state university new york buffalo campus. [applause] >> let me just talk about each of these briefly. our first priority is aimed at providing better value for students. making sure that families and taxpayers are getting what we paid for. today arne duncan, our secretary of education, to lead an effort to develop a new rating system for america's colleges before the 2015 college year. right now private rankings like "u.s. news" and "world report qts puts out each year the ranchings. it encourages a lot of colleges to focus on how to gain the number. it rewards them in some cases for raising costs. i think we should rate colleges
based on opportunity. are they helping students from all kinds of backgrounds succeed? [applause] and on outcomes. on their value to students and parents. so that means metrics like how much debt does the average student leave with? how easy is it to pay off? how many students graduate on time? how well do those graduates do in the work force? because the answer will help parents and students figure out how much value a school officers. there are schools with terrific values and schools with higher default rates than graduation rates. and taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing students to go to schools with the kids aren't graduating from. that doesn't do anybody any good.
our ratings will measure how successful colleges are on pell grants. it will be my firm principle that the ratings have to be carefully designed to increase not decrease the opportunity for higher education for students who face economic or other disadvantages. [applause] it's going to take a little time, but we think this can empower students and feaments -- families to make good choices. and it will give any college the chance to show that it's making serious and consistent improvement. so they may not -- a college may not be where it needs to be right now. they'll have time to try to get better. we want all the stakeholders in higher education, students, parent, businesses, college professors to work with
secretary duncan. he's going host a public forums around the country to make sure we get the measures right. then over the next few years, we're going work with congress to use these ratings to change how we allocate federal aid for colleges. [applause] we are going to deliver on a promise i made last year. we're going deliver on a promise we made last year which college that keep the tuition down and are providing high quality education are the ones that are going to see their taxpayer funding go up. it's time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results and reward schools that deliver for american students and our future. [applause] we like to get your cost on the government's role in education tonight as we open our find line. we'll take your facebook comment and tweet. during a town hall discussion on
c-span. c-span brings you live road to the white house coverage this friday when we take you to new hampshire for remarks from texas senator, ted cruz. delivering the e keynote at the fund-raiser hosted by the new hampshire republican party. senator cruz, reportedly considering a presidential run will be introduced by new hampshire senator. that's live friday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. early on, you know, we said we have -- okay we have the land. we have to put some thing on it or maybe not. it was an open-ended what do we do with it. everyone wanted a say in that. quickly -- leaders promised a public process to receive public input to generate a master plan. at the same time that was going on; however, like i said you had
before the developer who won the lease and the port authority. they believed in the importance of the commercial space that was destroyed. they wanted to make sure that lower manhattan remained an international financial hub. they believed that in order to remain that reputation they had to rebuild all the commercial space. >> the controversy over the rebuilding on the site of the world trade center. elizabeth green span on the "battle for ground zero." part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. the cato institute hosted an event this week examining the rising claim for federal disability benefits which total about $200 billion a year. the panel included fellow from the cato institute as well as a former budget adviser for tom coburn and jeff sessions. this is just under an hour.
hi, there. thank you very much for coming today. i'm edward an economist at the cato institute and editor of our website. thank you for being here. despite the improving economy, the federal budget continues to be a mess with high level of spending and huge deficits. the deficit is expected to fall in the next few years, the cbo expects the deficit will start rising again in 2016, mainly because of expanding entitlement spending. entitlement spending is a huge problem that needs to be solved. most of the focus in recent years has been on the social security retirement program, and medicare and medicaid. but after those three large entitlement programs, the next biggest entitlement are the two federal disability programs. social security, disability insurance, and supplement tal
security incomes. these programs together cost over $200 billion a year now. they are do growing rapidly. these programs show all the pathology. they have an uncontrolled growth. they have excessive usage and undermining productivity in the u.s. economy. to get an idea how large the $200 billion a year we spend on social security, disability insurance with supplement security income. ..
>> we have two experts here, and they will explain how the programs work and why they are such budget busters today. both programs provide benefits to americans who are too disabled to work. the strange thing is, if you look at the data, the actual rate of disability in the economy seems to be falling over the last two decades so actual disability is falling, and yet the use sage has soared over the last two decades. this is a paradox, and they will
help explain the paradox in greater detail. tad is a budget expert, coeditor of downsizinggovernment.org writing on farm subsidies, housing subsidies, and other wasteful spending. he's a former budget analyst to senator sessions, and he was an economist in the indiana state budget office under governor mitch daniels. tad has new studies posted on downsizinggovernment.org. a ph.d. economist and a top expert on social security and an expert on the unfunded obligations of state/local pension plans and is a member of the federal government's social security advisory board. he's established details of social security including the 2010 book "social security: a fresh look at policy alternatives".
he's published many academic papers on social security, and he was formally at aei and the federal reserve board. the thing to know is that when you walk by the office at cato, there's two giant computer screens full of data running social security models constantly. he's a consummate data wonk. he'll go through the numbers today. how we'll proceed is they have powerpoints of ten minutes each so they will go through the powerpoints, and then we hopefully will have time for questions and answers. thanks again for coming.
>> i'm looking at various programs and agencies. one day i'm at walmart, and i overhear a conversation between two women, and the won woman says to the other very matter of factually, i could either take the pay cut or just go on disability. that struck me that she saw it being as an obvious choice, take the pay cut or disability. you just don't go on disability, or at least so i thought, and so that's what resulted in me delving into the programs. today, i'll talk about ssdi and ssi, more ssi, supplemental social security income. i want to talk about inherent problems with the disability, the determination process which is essentially the same for both
programs. social security disability insurance, ssdi, this is created, started in 1956, it was added on to social security, and basic planners for years wanted a disability component to it, took that long to get it, and the private sector warned them because the private sector had trouble administering such programs before the dregs and the depression waved them out, and so the executives that work for the insurance companies met with the planners and said, look, we can't do it, you sure can't do it because of the moral hazard and all the other issues, and that turns out to have been the case years later. it was a half percent tax on
workers' wages, and now it's 1.8%. if you're on ssdi, you're eligible for medicare, and the cost for medicare on ssdi is a hundred billion dollars a year, and as discussed, the trust fund for ssdi will be exhausted by 20 # 16. supplemental security income. there's 50 programs, and the nixon administration thought it would be more efficient just to have the federal government charge it, so they created ssi, and it was originally designed for the elderly poor, and it largely now benefits the disabled poor, $57 billion in
2013, 8.3 million beneficiaries, and this is paid with general funds. there's no work requirement which is different than ssdi. it's a means-tested program, and so if you meet asset income limitations, if you're older, you qualify. if you meet those same assets and income limitations below the age of 65, and found to be disabled, you qualify. again, ssdi, a couple charts. this is ssdi spending adjusted for inflation. close to about its creation, as you can see, absolutely exploded, and as chris pointed out, it is not like we're less healthy society, and, in fact, it's the opposite. we're a much more white collar work force and more people work from home, and we have technology and stuff that helps the disabled, and so the explosion in costs is hard to understand, and this shows
disability recipients for workers, and, again, it's a same story. you have this massive in connection with, yet as a society, we're not more disabled. one more point they make is that, you know, it's a disability program, but low and behold, applications for disability move with the unemployment rate or generally how the economy's going. it goes back to that incident at walmart where i heard the woman say, well, i could take a pay cut or get on disability. since the recession, it's taken off, up to $57 billion this year. again, of the 8.3 million recipients, 7.1 million are disabled. there's fewer elderly people on ssi today than there was at the
program's inception, and of particular concern is the share of children on this program, which is really taking off. as i show there, there's one from 4% in 1980 to 16%. a lot of this is because of the liberalization of disability qualifications, and, in particular, the sullivan against zelby case in 1990, basically funkal considerations had to be taken into consideration for whether a child's disabled. it's up to 53% since 2011. it's boston globe with a series of very depressing series, actually, a couple years ago, and poor parents are trying to get their kids labeled, trying to get them diagnosed with adhd
or some sort of other behavioral disorder, and, in fact, medical professionals, the doctors, in fact, feel pressure because they want to help the kids out, and i hate to make light of it, but you have these situations where you have these doctors, if you remember the simpsons, dr. nick, you know, just basically, if you have a problem, i'll take care of it, and i know that the town i grew up in, we had a doctor that was known as dr. ritalin because that's where you take your kid to get adhd medicine and hopefully get ssdi benefits. it's a problem because these kids are identifying themselves as disabled, whether they are or not, and they are jeopardizing work because they couldn't want to hurt the check coming home, hurting their future prospects, but the kids stay on ssi once they reach the age of 18.
as they collect benefits, the number of reviews dropped 70% from 2011 and now there's a backlog of 45,000 children, and they admit half the kids are capable of working and are likely to improve. that's the problem is this system's broken. it's essentially the same system that if you want to torture yourself, read the papers and go through this process. there's, you have, like, three or four different appeals opportunities, and you start at the local ssa office, but it's a state agency that makes the
determination, and then you can appeal it, and in particular, the appeals to the alj, the administrative law judges, that's where your problems are at, and the gao sums up the problem. you know, and it's the reason why both of them run high risk is because these programs emphasize medical condition, and in assessing working capacity without adding into consideration of work opportunities afforded by advances in medicine, technology, and job demands, and i know we'll talk about that. for ssi, mental disorders, the largest impairment for awarding ssi disability. 60% after congress relaxes eligibility standards in 1984, nonrestrictional descriptions, back pain, mental, and it's jumped in 20 years. majority of disability app captains who were awarded benefits are determined to possess a nonexertional restrictions. now, you whether hear, well, the
majority of people who apply are denied. well, that's true, but it's the opposite for people who appeal, particularly to the alj level, and one of the big problems you have here is the judges -- there's nobody advocating for the government, ie, the taxpayer, and yet the opposite is true for the person who is appealing. they very often have representation. people with with back disorders, reputations exceed 90%, and this leads to what we have, and binder and binder, made $88 million off of running people -- running clients in, and they don't make a ton of money. up to $600, but have
specialty law firms figured out, and they hire basal through the system nd they u which judd benend so that $6,000 adds up, adds up,ndt journal," they found, you can see, fees ouat oftaxpaye pocket to the firs, onef $425n 2001 to $1.4 billion in 2011. again, nay know which judges, and this is 5 problem, the judges have a lot of independent authority, and, you know, one judge approved 97% of cases that involved disorders. another judge looking at the same disorder awarded 15% of the cases, and, you know, as a result of all these appositions and people vying for the benefits, now you have this
appealing -- now you have this massive backlog of hearings growing from 12 # ,000 cases in 1999 to 817,000 cases in 2012 so what does the ssa do? well, they tell judges, you got to start pushing things through. we have this awful backlog. well, it says, this is from the horses mouth, we're pressured to grant more claims than we otherwise would, but it's faster and easier to grant claims than to deny them. the programs utilize the determination process. yeah, for ssdi, the trust fund is going broke, but, you know, you need fundamental reform. this is not just about dollars and cents, and i argue itoutliva
act. we were trying tocorporate and make it easier for people to work, and yet, we've made it easy for people not to work, and getting back to ssi in the case of the children being put on medications and being taught that, you know, you take a check instead of trying to work even a part-time job, the reprecautions of this is long lasting. from a dollars and cents point, yes, we have to cut and reform, but reforms are needed not just for taxpayers, but the disabled themselves.
>> thank you for that introduction. as a member of the social security advisory board, the board looks into how the agency's operating, how the policies are implemented and so on, and there's a lot of detailed studies and analysis that we do. i'm sure you folks are not really interested in all of that stuff. i'm going to, therefore, focus, mostly on the macrobig policy issues that disability insurance faces. that's the objective. i'll start with a background on
the program, how it has been changed over the years, and its effects on incentives today for the disabled to participate in the work force versus get off the work force and pray for disability, get off the insurance, and stay there forever, essentially. so let me begin with a bunch of questions. first the definition disability. a definition of duration of disability. it's a health or mental impairment that physical or mental impairment permits earning up to the capability level, just over a thousand dollars a month, and it's expected to continue for at least 12 months or result in death. that's the basic today.
one question, one, you asked, well, it's a program supposed to protect workers against disabling condition that prevents them from working and earning, so does this offer an answer to the disabled? my answer to that is basically, yes. a second question then that we should ask are those with help impairments are still capable and rolled into or being allowed on to the program, and my answer to that question is also in the affirmative. actually, the second question you have to ask is, is it the policy or the agency's implementation of the policy? basically policy compliant resulting in an affirmative answer to the second question.
i'll talk about this a little more in a few minutes. the policy itself causes difficults in implementation and causes poor policy compliance. that's my take on it so we have to improve the policies, reform program in ways that would improve compliance making it less difficult to deliver on policies by the agency's implementation of the policies. the program introduced in 1956, but at that time, the definition of "disability" was permanent in nature, long and indefinite duration, and benefits were allowed only for those above the age of 50, but not yet retired, so between 50 and 55. over the years, there's key policy liberalization, and i'll point out three. in 1965, the policy was -- the
definition changed from the definition to the current definition lasting up to 12 months. basically, that means clay manets who qualify for ssdi on the basis of this temporary duration definition, but later recover from the conditions could remain on the program, potentially, for a long period of time. in 1967, the ajudd cation of the program requires taking into consideration not just health and mental or physical and mental impairments that prevented people from working, but also other criteria, like job availability, age, education, experience, and so on were additional criteria, vocational considerations that entered into the adjudication of the programs which imposed constraints on adjudicators whether they could declare someone -- allow them in the program or reject the
application. essentially, even though judge might feel or subjectively determine that the person is more capable, these other criteria would impose a presumption of disability and the case would have to be allowed. finally, in 1984, i point out here that the program began allowances in the subjective criteria, claims of disability, they are so mentally impaired that they could not work, or so based on subjective -- if based on subjective cry criteria, the chances of there being errors are in connection withed, and that's -- in connection in conn- increased, and that was the change in 1984, so you could
have all types of errors under the system, but more allowances for disability claims, but these two types of errors, there's an se met try mountain -- in the errors. say they are disableed. one has a false negative, reject the application when it's actually true, but in that case, the applicant gets opportunity to appeal the decision four times, and before a rejection it filed. if you make the other error, that is, the applicant is not disabled, but application is accepted and the person is allowedded on to disability, that's permanent entry into the program, and you get benefits for a long period of time until your medical condition improves, and you have a review of the condition after five to seven year, and you are taken off the
system, so that is kind of a prehistory of the program, how it evolved, and how it operates today in an overall sense. the anti-work incentives built into the program as a result of the liberalizations can be seen through this chart which is -- which looks at trend in two different dimensions. one is how many people over time have chosen to enroll on to ssd iring's, the solid lines, blue for females, red for males, and as you can see, since the late 8 os, you can see here, consistent trends upward and enrollments under the program, and the dotted lines, again, blue for females, is population aged to
29 who report a working condition. it's not the entire population. it's this population of work impaired people as they, themselves, report, and among this population, we see an increasing trend of moving away from our -- or not working anymore and enrolling on to ssdi. that is a consistent and secular trend that indicates that the system now has built into it a strong anti-work incentive for the population. now, about policy compliance. so i said earlier that it's the policy, not the intention intenl implementation of the policy as part of the adjudication system, and, in fact, as a member of the board, i had several conversations. i had formal and normal conversations, visited there, offices, the disability
determination, and i'm convinced that they are fully committed to delivering on the policy and it's the data that i'll show you right now. it's a pretty wide distribution, so there's several instances of consistently allowing more than 90% of the cases that that adjudicate, and others reject 60% allowing only 40% of the cases that they adjudicate. how could this wide distribution come to be is the question? there's two possibilities to consider. one is that all of these are very similar this their approach
how to adjudicate cases, but the distribution of cases among them is nonrandom so that some of them always get cases that should be allowed, which explains the 9 o% allowance rate, and others get mostly cases that should not be allowed so there's a very low allowance rate. the other extreme is that distribution of cases are really fully random, but their approach to how they ajude -- adjudicate cases is different and substantially different. which would you believe? if you calculate the rates over time, so which i'm showing the data, the assistance measured by their correlations, and that is, if a judge is allowing 90% of
the cases one year, what is the chance he'll allow, again, 90% of the cases in the following year, and then any subsequent year, but turns out to be .9, which is very high. which makes it very difficult to believe that the distribution is random and difficult to believe that the distribution of cases across this is nonrandom, and they are similar in the approach. it's more likely that the opposite is true, that it's very difficult for these judges to -- across the entire systems remain consistent in how they approach different cases. finally, well, actually, not finally, i have a couple more slides. this is looking at the prevalence of ssdi in the short population, so it's the trade
that tells us about the number of beneficiaries houses insured in the population, and as you can see, since the mid-80s that rate has gone up consistently. that's a solid line. it's double, and 1990, it was less than 30%, and now it's close to 60%. it's doubled in the span in the last two and a half decades. doubling is explained by various factors, the rate of prevalence of mental and muscular skeletal based conditions that are being allowed on grounds and so on, and i want to draw attention to the difference between the expectation of how the prevalence rate will evolve in the future which is the dotted line that the trustee and they
project it each year and the realization which is the solid line. i'll magnify that for the last two years, and what you observe is the realization is always about the expected -- the previously expected rate of increase, and, well, you could approach -- you could look at this and draw two conclusions. one possible conclusion is the trustees don't know what they are doing. they cannot, for the life of them, make consistent projections, and, in fact, they make mistakes on the same side every time. as you say, that's not really -- i don't draw that cop collusion. if i were given the charge of exercising the projection evolving in the future, i would do pretty much what they do, which is date the population of insured, age them by a year, apply the age specific rates of disability, take off those
who -- the high age and those who would be shifted on to the retirement system and add a no cohort and look at the projection. that's the methodology you follow. maybe there's some other adjustments for updates of data and so on, and them you get a projection, and next day you come and see, oh, realization is higher than what you projected, every time. if you -- if i'm not going to say that the trustees don't know what they are doing, i only have to assume there's something wrong with the program itself providing incentives for people to get on to the disability system and, therefore, the real sages is about what you expect to happen in the future. this is not just happening in decent times. it's also been happening in the past, in the 1990s and so on with the exception of 1996. that's the only expeption. every other realization is above the expected rate of increase.
finally, this is just former charts, so to say, to tell you how the finances of the program are going to evolve. 2015 is the last year projected with a pos -- positive trust fund, and march 2016 is when the trust fund is completed, and that should have people in congress, policymakers how to reform the program. it's an opportunity, but tad mentioned -- did you mention? i don't remember, but tad mentioned, i think, most likely se scenario seems to be, at least, given the low intensity of the discussion on reform on ssd iring's that -- ssdi that a simple action of transferring trust fund moneys into the disability system seems to be the most likely and since that is an available option, that explains the lack of interest in discussing disability policies, but as i
mentioned in the presentation, we have fundamental antiwork incentives built into the programs, and that incentive is evident in the data in terms of pulling people away from the work force, separating them from the work force, and gets them to enroll in ssdi. the question is, do we need this kind of a safety net? above everything else, we need this safety net. the question is should be at the expense of everything else? especially given the built-in anti-work incentives in the system. those support the program in terms of policy with regards to, well, the first thing is consider the reform, the system is do no harm, but most important message to convey is that eligibility, relatively easy eligibility itself might constitute harm because at least there's bad effects, so reform options, we might think of
reforms similar to what was implemented during the mid-1990s for welfare reforms, things like time limited benefits or additional work supports for those whom experience an on set of disabling condition and are at risk of eventually applying for the program and getting on to it. very different federal agencies have dual and opposing mandates. think of the federal reserve, homeland security. you should have opposing mandate, maybe, which says, well, you need to protect the disabled and provide them support, but we also need to make sure that the system does not build in undo antiwork incentives. that's it. be glad to take questions. thanks. >> thanks. i have a question which is that
your last chart showed that the social security disability trust fund will go bankrupt, i don't know whether that's the appropriate term, in 2016, what happens if congress makes no legislative changes before then? do people currently on disability get their benefits cut? >> well, the benefits will be paid out of revenues to the system that will be available, and so -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah, so the benefits after march of 2016 will be able only out of incoming revenues, which would be sufficient to pay 80% of current law benefits. >> no movement for reform that you can see? i have not heard of members
compliance is as high as it possibly can be, so i'm not -- i don't think this wide distribution in allowance rates is result of some type of failures in the procedures. maybe the procedures could be improved, but it's not for lack of trying that we have the start of the distribution. i'm sure regionally, also, there's wide variance in the allowance rates, but it's not -- i think the difficulties inherent in the types of policy these adjudicators are required to implement. sure. >> i'll tag on to that. there was an article this week -- or last week in the "wall street journal," a follow-up piece, a "wall street journal" reporter's been, you know, looking at areas where there has been a rather large increase, and in particular, years ago, he cited the increase in puerto rico, and at the time, the ssa said nothing to see here
or out. ordinary and clear that nine out of the top ten zip codes for per capita disability benefits, whatever it was, was in puerto rico, so there's clearly something wrong, and just last week, the fbi in conjunction with the social security administration rated a bunch of doctor's offices in puerto rico, and doctors are being, and sort of the doctor nixon syndrome. there is variation in some cases. >> down front? >> [inaudible] >> ways in which the reform
removes disend sieves to work and provide this insurance? >> right. think of reforms in two spheres, one is reforms to delay or prevent workers from entering the system. this is -- ssdi is an insurance program so you require work history so you have a history of being work and earned short status for sszi. if a worker adds his employment, experiences, disabling, condition, the general progression is the mind set is that she is going to continue to work, and if they get no support or no accommodation from the employers or so on, the
observation is in getting services can make a difference in how quickly your condition deteriorates, and mental mind set, and then you decide to apply. other countries tried to involve employers in getting to prevent or delay al alternative work options, even though it's not work in one's prior occupation. those reforms have been successful in countries like the netherlands, sweden, and so on, for example. other hand, once you go through the system and now you're a beneficiary, think of reforms to incentivize, and working has not been successful, and they have provided medicaid by them
because a lot of beneficiaryies. they refuse to work, and we see that among beneficiaries, the label force participation rate is high. you'd be surprised to hear that close to 50% of the ben fish -- beneficiaries work and earn some money, but because they are afraid of losing benefits, if they work beyond a certain level, they face a cash cliff that if they work beyond this level, they lose their benefits. there's a gradual manner rather than face the cash cliff, but so you can think of a generalized schedule of benefits and earnings that you could look at and decide where on the skeed ewe they want to be. the working people are circulated contains a proposal,
and you might want to read that. >> to follow on a point there, and i think i read it on one of your papers that when someone applies and qualifies for federal disability program, they automatically get proved for disability, providing big extra benefits or incentive to go on disability. >> right, but the system also provided -- so the systems provides a nine month period, and after that, they provide a 30-month period where you lose benefits if your earnings are above, but reinstated if you lose your earnings or lose your job, so for 36 months, get back on ssdi with full benefits without having to go through the entire application process again. that's a automatic reeligibility. after that, you're after the program, but then they have tried, and so out of the earnings, you buy coverage
paying premiums even though your earnings and assets may not otherwise qualify for your state's medicaid program, but you can buy into it. there's methods to retain coverage for beneficiaries who want to work more, but despite those, the participation rate above sga working and earning above the sga level remains low. people park it, they say. they just earn just enough to make sga amount of earnings. that's a thousand dollars a month, thousand-40 i think it is right now, and then that's -- they don't want to earn anymore because they fear losing benefits ultimately and health care coverage. it's partly, also, i think, misinformation among the population about how they lose their medicaid cove -- coverage, other options, and so on. >> yep?
>> [inaudible] so mr. dehaven suggested targeting going on with specialty law firms in the process. what effect do you think this has had on the outcomes of the distribution of the cases especially considering the income of the firms seems to be going up as the program expands. >> well, legally represents that -- we know that this is a nonadversary yal process, claim applicants can argue cases before and so on. that's increasingly the case. 80% or more of cases are represented. representatives are paid, not just for representing their clients, but also to travel to the location of the hearing held, and so on -- >> [inaudible] >> no, they are paid.
they are paid for it. it's contingent on how long the services were -- for how long the services were lenders -- surrendered since the initial application. there's actually perverse incentives for representatives to make sure the case takes as long as possible because their earnings depend on that. certainly, there's a correlation between the increase and prevalence rate, for example, the rates of disability with the increase in representation. whether that's a direct cause, i'm not sure because i've trieded to get data on which cases are represented and which are not, and to see if there's any difference in outcomes. i have not been able to get that data. >> i have another question. two programs, ssd iring's, part of the social security program, and then there's supplement call security income, which is not part of what we call social security. there are different types of programs, ssdi has dedicated funding, ssi doesn't.
is -- are your suggest the reforms similar for both of those programs or how would the reforms for the two programs be different? >> to be honest, i have not talked about how my proposed gbo reform that i i've circulated apply to ssi because that's a means tested program, and it's not funded out of general revenues, and so i -- not -- in terms of work incentives, i'm not sure how -- because it's a means tested -- it's not insurance. it's not -- so it's philosophically a different approach to why we provide benefits for ssi applicants, so i have not thought about that, but my -- so at this point, my reform would apply only to ssdi. that's all i can say. >> the reason why ssi is administered by the social security administration is because it utilizes the same disability determination process. you apply it at the ssa office, and it goes state disability
determination, appeal, ect., ect., and that's why they originally decided to house it at ssa. >> right, but the means test means if you earn more than sga, you don't qualify or ssi disability grounds, but ssdi is another case. >> okay. yes? >> [inaudible] >> aggressive investigations after the fact to catch on camera moving your neighbor or something, could that play a role on the federal level? >> i have a friend who's a lawyer and remits companies in workers' comp claims, and that is one glaring deefficiency is at least the company's represented when you look at ssdi and ssi appeals, the taxpayer, government suspect.
so that's a glaring problem, and -- >> well -- >> the continuous disability review. is that what that is? >> continuing disability review system that the agency administers which, on a skewed yule of three or five, depending on the nature of the disability, you have to undergo this review to see if your medical condition improved, and if it has, then you are taken off the program. there is this crux -- there is this way of trying to review cases, previous case, and determine whether people are still available or they should not continue on ssdi, so there is some element of, you know, a tight budget situation, i don't know what the priorities are to allocates work resources, workloads to this function. the inspector general's report or testimony before congress in march suggested there were 1.2 million reviews which is a big
backlog, so there is a system in place, but it's backlogged. >> all right, last question. >> i just wanted to know a couple committees in congress held hearings, oversight reform has as well as ways and means with primary jurisdiction on this, and, to my knowledge, there's one bill addresses at least some aspects of the program trying to reform it, and sam johnson from texas has a bill that addresses current reseat of benefits of ssd iring's and unemployment compensation, and that leads me to the question, do you think that it's possible to reform the program in a piecemeal fashion or something to be done in big chunks or comprehensively? >> i would prefer the latter approach, frankly, because a lot of aspects, a lot of pieces that would be -- you could make them fit all of them fit better, provide incentives on both hands
before applying, and right now, as i mentioned in the coming year, there's a big object with a huge gravitational force pulling people from the work force getting them into the system. everybody is -- seems to be focusing on not public change of the object, but how to put fences around it to prevent this migration in the labor force on disability, and i think a comprehensive reform approach would be better. it -- you could then state all the pieces, think about it, more carefully, do one thing at a time and figure out what you end up with does not fit any better than what you have right now. >> i would agree with the big comprehensive reform. the problem is you have a group of people who spend most of the time naming post offices after people back home, so you want to be the member that has the quote-on-quote disabled
advocates outside your office protesting? you know, it's like any other program. you got to be willing to stick your neck out and willing to find people to go along, and, you know, having worked in the senate, boy, just i don't see it, and so i would agree that most likely, and they are just going to push the regular trust fund. >> okay. maybe last question here. >> [inaudible] ssi kids labeling, incentives for parents to have kids in the program. what other options should we consider rather than dispersing checks to parents? >> good question. i mean, unfortunately, you have a system that eligibility's been
liberalized, and there's a lot of subjectivity. i mean, that's the inherent problem here is that disability's almost impossible to define. i mean, they knew that from the beginning, like i said when i was talking about it, the planners knew -- were told from day one by the private sec tar that we can't do this, and that was always the fundamental problem with the get-go is how do we give to the truly disabled without letting this blow out of proportion. i think so long as this is in federal hands, a one size fits all, i don't think the problem goes away. perhaps because there's originally the states involved in ssi and in charge of these, you know, how about the federalism approach where you have the, you know, the 50 lads
of democracy see what works, see what doesn't work, you know? basically going in the reverse of where nixon took us, but, you know, it's an inherently difficult, almost impossible situation because, again, defining disability is subjective, and it's becoming increasingly subjective because of court decisions and laws positioned in the past couple decades. >> all right. thank you very much for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> i want to go through the calls the secretary has made today related to the events in syria. he's spoken with u.n. secretary general ban ki moon, prime minister, jordan prime minister judah, turkish prime minister, and e.u. high representative ashton. in all the calls, he reiterated the u.s. commitment to focus to getting to the bottom of the facts on the ground, our concern
about the reports, photos, videos we have seen out there, and this was also part of our efforts as an administration to discuss what other countries are hearing so that the secretary can bring that back to the national security team and discuss with them in the meetings that are ongoing. i just wanted to provide a little bit more details of his conversation with the president who expressed our sincere con doll lenses to the syria people, loss of life, those also injured or are suffering from yesterday's attack. he said the united states' commitment looking into what happened on the ground, and ambassador, ford, i wanted to add this, oh, finally -- all opposition groups, to work with the u.n., and their investigation, and that, again, we have encouraged and continue to encourage access and that the syria regime grant access, and another piece, some asked yesterday about the contacts, and they spoke with the
president who will visit istanbul sunday to continue the dialogue with the soc leadership. with that, go ahead, deb. >> france's foreign minister is raising prospects of national intervention. turkey's foreign minister has said, you know, several red lights crossed, mccain said without u.s. response, that instead of a red line, they are looking at a green light here because we've seen and used chemical weapons in the past, and so are we at least reaching a tipping point with syria here? >> well, let me be crystal clear here, people around the world, people mentioned and those living in countries around the world have seen, woke up this morning, have seen yesterday, photos, videos, that many of us have seen that shock the consciousness, and anyone would see this as beyond the pail. the president has directed the intelligence community to, here in the united states, to gather
additional information. that is our focus on this end. at this time, right now, we are unable to conclusively determine that use, but focus the every minute of every day since events happened yesterday on doing everything possible within our power to nail down facts. as part of the efforts, our secretary, and i mentioned a number of call, and part of that is working with, coordinating with, cooperating with his counterparts around the world and in the discussions, spoke with the foreign minister this morning, spoke with a number of officials, and those calls continue issue you we're doing everything possible to use our resources that include coordinating and cooperating with the counterparts around the world to get to the bottom of the facts on the ground. >> if they determine, you know, beyond a shadow of the doubt that it was a regime, is this
another redline to cross? >> well, the red line has been clear. i know there's been conclusion about this. the red line is the use of cw, the use of chemical weapons. that was crossed months ago, and the president took action, which we talked about at the time. we're still focused orphan nailing down the facts. the intelligence community focused on that, administration focused on that, and if the reports are true, it's an outrageous and flagrant exescalation by the regime. we have to nail down the facts. the president, of course, has a range of options that we've talked about before that he can certainly consider, and, of course, discuss with the national security team.
>> host: how would you describe your effort to put nixon folks on the record on tape or recording it? >> guest: well, i had a challenge that the federal government was taking over a private museum and library, and i was asked to be the first federal director. this is a library that had been in place for 17 years, roughly a hundred thousand people visited a year. ..
>> host: this is in california. >> guest: california. i thought the best way as a historian. i wont nixon specialist, was for the players, key people from that era to tell the story themselves. so i thought the best way to do this was to start a video or oral history program that involved the nixon players, and watergate drama from the left and the right. to have them tell the story and use portions of the story in the museum to let visitors understand the complexity of the
constitutional drama. it the video history program designed initially to help renovate the museum. what happens is it developed and acquired a momentum all of its own. i never earpted ultimately overseeing 149 of them. i had a very good assistant who worked for me with three years for this. he did a few interviews himself. it became clear there were a lot of folks that wanted to talk about that period. since the nixon library had been private, it hadn't got the treatment that a regular federal presidential library would have had. for example, neither the private nixon library or the nixon project in washington had run a full scale history program. it was right for the doing. adds it became clear that a lot of folks wanted to participate. it grew to be a bigger initiative than i imagined. >> host: what was the time
frame? >> guest: i started it just as soon as i started in the job. i became -- i joined the national archive in october of 2006. even though i didn't formally become a head of the library, i ran the federal nixon project until the library transferred to the federal government in the summer of 2007. i started the history with an interview with alexander hague. i did it until i left in 2011. >> host: this hour has no rhyme or reason. the clips were chosen by mike holden who produces the program. the objective is to show the audience. we want a -- a little bit and get you to explain that. before that, i want to show some video tape from 1973. alexander butterfield testifying. >> i was aware of listening
devices. yes, sir. >> when were those placed in the oval office? approximately the summer of 1970, i cannot begin to recall the precise date. my guess, mr. thompson, is that the installation was made between -- this is a very rough guess, april or may of 1970, and perhaps the end of the summer or early fall, 1970. are you aware of the devices installed in the executive office building of the president. >> yes, sir. at that time. >> fred thompson is what was a senator and actor and was the counsel for the republicans back then. where did you find alexander butterfield? >> guest: umm, oh, some of thement --
them we found through google or people who knew people. we put out the word that we were doing these. initially the nixon foundation -- the private nixon foundation provided the funding for the first group. i was upfront about what we were doing. i promised the things nixon foundation and the federal government we could a nonpartisan oral history program. >> host: we don't see you in the interviews. >> guest: that's by choice. i remember going an l.a. festival of the book, i listened to david hall we -- it was in 2005. before i got this job -- that job. i'm not there anymore. he was talking about the best interview. he said the best interviewer is the peers. and i thought, what i would do would be to disappear. that my job would be to help the interviewee recall events to encourage them and create a zone
of comfort, but to disappear. also, because the goal was for this to be video that could be used for documentaries in the future, as well as for use in the museum. you don't want to see me. >> host: it's a minute and 32 second. alexander butterfield you interviewed him in 2008. today he's 86 years old. >> guest: he didn't go back to the residence very often. whenly left the office, he went to the eob, and had dinner over there. four nights out of five. he only went there if the young people were coming over, the children with their spouses or boyfriend or girlfriend, whatever. smallsomeone was going to be there. a friend. when he left the oval office around 7:00, he went to the eob office across the street. he would fix him a drink, usually. a drink of scotch. might not.
might start with a red wine. only two things he drank. he didn't drank a lot. he had one cocktail and red wine with dinner. he sat there the way you are sitting there. with his coat on. never took hi, never, never took his jacket off. even on a hottest washington, d.c., night in a chair and wrote with -- yellow pad ideas. things that would be relating to him the following morning. all the stuff relied to hoffmann. he would eat his dinner at the little table, and had his wine and might go down, there was a single lane or double lane bowling alley. he never went home until he went to the residence. >> host: what do you think. the former military man,
mr. butterfield? >> guest: there are things -- those of us outside the white house, we don't really know how it -- and to have the people who were with richard nixon describe the day is priceless. we have to take -- we don't know what is going on around the taped areas. and it wasn't just butterfield. you have coalson, you've got folks talking about what was like. that's priceless. that is -- that's the part of history that give it is context and meaning but disappears. it's often not written down. one of the by-product of the interview. i left the tape one -- i didn't interrupt them. i let people, if it was somewhat ramble. i let people think, recall, and speak. what you get out of it is color. it's preserved forever. one of the things that was very important to me, i had experience in doing all history. i was at the miller center
public affair at the university of virginia, and jane sterling young was running an all-history program there. i was one of the interviews. i was not running the program. i was one of the interviewers. in the way it was run -- it wasn't their fault, it was in fact the deal they struck was that the private foundations had control over the interviews, and people could edit them. and i know this for a factor. i participated in interviews that were then edited. i didn't edit them. once you edit an interview, the tape whether it's an audio tape or video tape are becomes useless. you can't serve it to the public. when i went to the national archive and worked with the lawyers, i said i don't want that. i want the participant that signs a deed that didn't give it them a chance to edit it. they knew it in advance. you couldn't use these if we
didn't do it. i wanted there to be a sen of comfort, a sense of respect, and professionalism. but would allow people to continue to tell stories and those stories would be preserved. >> i want to run another alexander butterfield clip. talking about the taping system he set up inside the white house that ultimately what would you say the result of the taping system did? >> guest: richard nixon's resignation is a result. >> host, by the way, alexander butterfield -- >> guest: i'm responsible for the logo. but we dpdzed we would use for the first interview a standard collapsable backdrop. because we interviewed people where they wanted to be interviewed. we didn't have a studio. although i did one interview in the studio with sir david frost. we didn't have a studio. we hired professional
videographer and needed a backdrop. we initially thought it was cool to be a same backdrop. we discovered that varying the backdrop is a good thing. today watching those will notice a lot of different backdrops. >> host: here is the clip. >> he said, make sure nobody knows this. nobody. nobody. so -- that was said a couple of times later when he and the president and i talked about. there was never any doubt in my mind, nobody told these in so many words, there was no sinister purpose to the tapes. none. i sensed it was for the memoir. it would be valuable if you could tell all of that. i went to oldman a couple of times later, much later when the things are accumulating so fast. the secret service coming to me and said we're having to look for a new place to put the tame. -- tape. i said we ought to get a couple
of secretaries and type all day long. it's a career here. it's all day, every day. and he said, yeah, good idea. we never did do that. so it hob -- it had to be a mammoth job. >> host: did you get a sense what happened to the 18 and a half minute. the gap? >> guest: i have a theory. i had to look in to that, because there's a section in the watergate gallery about it. i was astounded to hear that the tape gap is in the tape from the summer of 1972, and june of '72. rose -- rose mary woods take the tape to camp david. but she also took it to keith. there are a number of people who could have erased it. the u.s. government hired a
group of audio specialists to listen to the tape to the erased portion. they concluded that it was couldn't have been an accidental erase. there were too many sounds. it sounded like it was erased eight times to the educate ear. somebody either in camp david or -- erased it. i often wondered it was stevie. >> host: who? >> guest: richard nixon's friend. >> host: to our audience if they are frustrated by the little clips, the whole interviews are available on our website and a lot on the nixon. >> guest: yeah. you can get them at www.nixonlibrary.gov. >> host: william, you interviewed. did you do the interview? >> guest: yeah.
>> host: when was it? >> guest: at the library. he's a theory. one of the things -- if you watch these, there's a story of course that wood ward and burstein played very important in watergate and the role that the house and senate played and the prosecutors has the army of prosecutors. don't forget the role played by republicans within the nixon administration. and he's one of him. >> host: here is william who was at the time -- the number two -- >> guest: he's the deputy attorney general of the united states. >> it was clear how it wasn't going to carry out that order, assuming it maintained a of the the press conference. and i remember him turning to me and said what are you going to do? i told him and said i don't think it's close. i think that what he's asking
you apparently subsequent needed to do is fundamentally wrong. you don't have any choice but refuse to do it. that -- they'll find somebody else to do it, and eventually, i mean. it was only one of the person in line of official command in justice department. they could arrest anybody. to me if it came to that, your responsibility is fairly clear. i don't think he would resign lightly. i think you have an obligation. he's the one that appoints you, and you do have a duty of loyalty. then there's lines over which you can't step. and you have to tell yourself that before you take those steps, seems to me. there are some things i won't do. >> guest: it's really important. i did my best to interview as many as surviving players in the saturday night massive amount consider. --
mass -- president nixon wanted to fire the special prosecutor cox. he ordered the attorney general of the united states, elliot richardson to do it. he wouldn't. the next person in line was him. he dwont wouldn't do it. elliot died by the time i was in the job. the judge was also involved in the story. it's a remarkable story because for many of those who participated or witnessed the event, this was the closest that the country had come to a major cries is. here the president of the united states was firing the official who was looking in to his misdeeds. and the question was in a democracy, in a republic, where you have the responsible government. can the president fire somebody who is about to prosecute him
for wrongdoing? >> host: here is a tape or recording of jill wine banks. who was she? she is today 67. >> guest: well. she's a magnificent, a great interview. the backdrop change and it really helps. she -- she is part of archibald cox's teament. -- team. she's a prosecutor. she's one of the few women prosecutor. it's an era when women -- there's a glass ceiling, here she is talking, i believe, unfortunately. here she is talking about the she would ultimately be the one saturday night massacre when she who deposes rose mary wood. learns that archibald cox has been fired. her reaction is startling and shows the kind of tension these people went through. >> jill. >> the big discussion i remember was what was richard nixon doing to do. it was particularly relevant
because we were working basically seven days a week. i had a family wedding in new york that night. the night of the press conference, and said, well, i can't go. i have to stay here. and now after much discussion we said, what could he do? in order to fire archie, he has to fire the attorney general. he'll never do that. go. it's going to be okay. he's going cave in. so i went to new york right after the press conference, when i came back from the wedding to the hotel, literally the desk clerk was waiting for me, and sort of leaped over-the-counter and said there's a message for you. there's a message for you! the fbi has seized your office. and i called george frampton. he was the one i could reach, and got on a 6:00 a.m. flight the next morning to come back and participate in discussions
of what the office should do. because what had happened was he fired archie, he did not fire us. so there was a lot of discussion of do we quit in protest? or do we say, okay, archie is gone but we're still here. we need to do our job. and we're going stay. he's going have to make a second big public releases there by firing us. >> host: what did he do? >> guest: what happened was they actually -- they closed the office for a mechanic -- nano second and reopened it. the acting attorney general at that point. everybody b.o.p. above -- above him was fired or resigned. he became the head of this -- the special prosecutors' office. i interview him for the library. he said, look, he said was nervous.
i could be charged with obstruction of justice if i close it down. he kept it alive, then they hired a texas democrat. nixon hired him to replace archibald cox. in the end, he would be even tougher on richard nixon than archibald cox was. >> host: banks worked for him? >> guest: yes. she stayed. right through as did the rest of the team. >> host: how long were your interviews, usually? >> guest: most about two hours. sometimes they were longer sometimes shorter. the shortest was with busy senator kerry. i asked him about vietnam and his work in the american veteran's. that was 23 minute. the longest l of -- couple of sessions and ray price. that was about six hours. >> host: what he is doing now? >> guest: henry kissinger said no.
i was moderating a panel with him in college, and we were in the green room, which wasn't green. green rooms are rarely green. beforehand and i was trying to be fair to him. i let him know what i was going ask him. went on stage and he didn't answer any of them. and after wards he turned to me and said didn't answer any of your questions. you tried hard. he made it clear to me as we chatted he was never doing a video oral history about nixon. he said no. gordon strong said no. a very important watergate figure who hasn't, i believe, told the full story. he wouldn't do. >> host: he's a lawyer. >> guest: he's a lawyer. he was indicted but not convicted. he was -- chief of staff, richard nixon's chief of staff. he was his point person to the committee to re-elect the president. he was the one who could say the
that gordon that his plan had been approved. he would know what details -- we wouldn't do it. and he wouldn't do. >> host: robert who was an acting attorney general. this is another issue. 85 still here with us. this is the issue of spir row -- when you do ab interview for the government it becomes public domain. i was keen on creating free video. i would assume they would tell stories in appropriate tear collection. what we started to get were
stories i never heard before. this is one of them. this is unbelievable. this is him talking about how he and the attorney general at that pointelle yacht richardson are afraid that nixon is not going to go ahead with the prosecution of vice president iowa agnew. it started out in maryland, but there was a maryland prosecutor that discovered that agnew as governor, he was governor before he become vice president was taking bribes and continued to take bribes even when was in the office of the vice president. the timing it happened. it was 1973, and so the issue is if spir row agnew was thrown out he has no vice president. and he's thrown out this is --
who is going to be president. let's go see the president which is supposed to -- when they drop it on you it's supposed to -- [inaudible] on the way down the hall, i said we have to go to the men's room. [inaudible] we go in the men's room and turned on all the faucet and said you have no idea of the atmosphere of the white house in those days. you had no idea whether somebody was tuned in listening to you or not. so we turned on all the faucets and whispered to each other. i think it's a resignation issue. it certainly is. so we turned off the faucets and went to see the president. the resignation issue is a hard one to deal with.
you can't walk in and say to a president, resign because if he's any kind of president he'll resign. >> host: where did you do that? >> guest: in his home. fantastic interview. he seemed very ill at the time. he's still with us. it was four years ago. he's a chain smoker and asked me if was okay to smoke. i love him. i let him. and there's moments where the smoke swirls around his head and makes for a nice interview. he was fascinating. he really wanted do this. the interview lasted two hours. >> host: any idea why he stayed and fired archibald cox? >> guest: i will say that he's a complex figure. we may get to the issue of my own personal views. i never wanted the -- i didn't want my views to be part of the scene. and, you know, bo rsh --
bork is -- >> host: as a judge? >> guest: as a judge. it's none of my business. i was working for the federal government, and it doesn't matter what i think. i will tell you, i was so impressed in that interview. what a mind. even though i disagree. what a mind. and i also learned that he's gotten a bad rap for the saturday night massive massacre. a few others. i interviewed jonathan moore who was elliot richardson's top aid. they implored bork to stay. now, bork had a different legal theory about what the president could or could not do. but he wanted to resign. bork wanted to resign. he wanted to go back to ill ya. he--
yale. they said no, if you resign, nobody is running in his place. they were very afraid that alexander heying was somebody they mistrusted would choose a new attorney general. would be a disaster for the country. and they said, they put pressure on bork to stay. so describe it. what are you doing now? >> guest: independent historian. a book about kennedy i have been meaning to write a contract for it, and i needed time to write it. i went back to writing a couple of -- i'm a fellow at the new america foundation >> host: when did you leave the library? >> guest: november of 2011. >> host: next is william.
he's jewish, he's an observer, and tell us what you -- >> host: >> guest: for me it's hard. it's heart breaking. he was really mad at me. >> host: for the editing. >> guest: absolutely. i had a terrible conversation about a month before he died he called me. >> host: died in '09 at 79. >> guest: 79. he was so angry that i had invited john dean to the library. i explained to him in order to establish this as a nonpartisan space, people would take seriously as a research center, tbifn the fight -- given the fights over access to the tapes, nixon tapes and the document it was essential to establish beyond any doubt that there was a nonpartisan tape. i felt it important, john dean, an important witness, an important player actually come to the library and speak.
and he was furious. i was talking to him. i invited him to come to the library to do a master class every summer -- almost every summer. we national interest. we had a national competition. we said students across the country come to the nixon library. we are changing this with an experiment in public history. be a part of the experiment. we had great applications, ten/fifteen times the number of student. i brought them to interact with. i wanted him to come. he saidly not do this. for me to come to the library is condone what you're doing. and i won't do it. it was not a pleasant discussion. the interview was all right. this was before john dean's visit. the interview was all right except when i asked him about -- he had been wiretapped and he got very uncomfortable. but most of that interview was
very good. >> host: explain the jewish connection -- >> guest: this is -- i found -- if you watch the interview with fred, it's very hard for me. i was going to and did ask him about president nixon ordered that there be a list of au juses in the federal government. -- au jusesauall-jews. a horrible tape. he ordered this. the order got truncated and became a order list all the jew in the bureau of labor statistic which is the part of the of the labor department which is responsible. fred was tasked with doing this.
how do you broach the subject? after i had done that and he speaks about it. i made a point to find as many people to talk on the issue and the role of jews in the nixon administration. and there was a real divide among those nixon administration. some were convinced that richard nixon was an antisemimite. some thought that he wasn't. william is among those that was among it. >> it was some disappointing we but he wasn't